March 2013 Market Review: Once again, the condo market just refuses to collapse

It still amazes (and annoys) me that the MSM insists that the sky is about to fall on the Toronto condo market, despite the market’s stubborn refusal to cooperate. One of the major papers was on about it again recently, clearly oblivious to some key facts.

The facts, as reported by TREB, are that the Toronto condo market continues to show resilience. The average price for a condo in the 416 in March was $367,595, up from $352,614 in February 2013 and $361,800 in March 2012. Clearly, there has been some volatility, but my sense is that the volatility has been a reflection of sentiment – influenced by not only the MSM, but also the federal government and various entities (IMF, etc.) that have chimed in with their own predictions of doom and gloom. Add the apparent fact that nobody can talk about real estate without impugning the character of Realtors, and you end up with a suspicious market place.

I have written about condos recently, so I won’t go into that again.  I’m sticking to my guns that the condo market is an outlet for renters, investors, first-time buyers and down-sizers. Added up, those folks can probably handle the current inventory – especially if the market for single-family dwellings (i.e. houses) remains as tight as it has been for the last couple of years.

As for houses, the average price for a fully detached house in Toronto was up 2.8% to $846,828; semis where up 6.9% to $607,334; and townhouses were up 7.5% to $450,104. With condos edging up 2% to $367,595 we had a city-wide average of $519,879, an increase (across all types) of 3.8%.  Compared to the 1% made by the TSX over the last 12 months, that looks pretty good for the average homeowner!

By the way, tighter mortgage rules are having an impact on more than just first-time buyers, notably self-employed buyers. Even if you currently have a mortgage, do your due diligence before stepping back in to the market. If you are going to your bank branch, ask your rep to be absolutely sure (by making inquiries to HQ if necessary) that you still qualify under the new rules. You don’t want any nasty surprises on closing day.

Lastly, the ‘spring market’ is definitely picking up. If you want to make a move this season, be ready to act. Call me to get started!


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